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Looking for a Party

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Album Review

Texas border town legend Long John Hunter seems to elude international acclaim year after year of his storied career as a bluesman without peer. Perhaps it is his rough-edged, strained but cool voice that seems to match his unassuming personality, or that his slightly echoplexed, twangy electric guitar is not as distinctive as his predecessors or peers. Nonetheless, Hunter is instantly recognizable for those who care to hear his original songs. based in real life drama, love and regret, or the questionable behavior of human beings in general. Teamed with producer/co-songwriter Dennis Walker and rhythm guitarist Alan Mirikitani, who also contributes lyrical and music content, Hunter just keeps rolling along with his brand of Southwestern electric blues that anyone can enjoy no matter their urban or rural environs. With bassist Richard Cousins and keyboardist Jimmy Pugh, Hunter plays short numbers that suggest a down-home feeling mixed with the wisdom of experience. Horns by trombonist Ira Nepus, trumpeter Lee Thornburg and tenor saxophonist Tom Peterson punctuate and fill out the rockin' jump blues "Apple of My Eye," as Hunter happily finds his soulmate, while "Looking for a Party" is as easy, good-time shuffle as you'd expect, and "It's Hard to Please a Woman" is your ever-lovin' juke joint blues about being in love and down to your last dime. There's a slinky cha-cha flavor to "What's Come Over You?," a New Orleans/Professor Longhair-type beat infused into "Looking for My Baby," and the wandering "Greener Pastures" in a slow, exasperated mood. Similarly fraught with frustration, "You Say You Want a Caddy" refers to a car, not a golf buddy, where Hunter emphatically says "no can do," but he offers an alternative on the old-school soul of "I Know a Man" with Pugh's fine organ playing underneath the pit of it. At his most devotional, Hunter sings "You Are My World" as if he really has found a true love, while escapades of crossing the border on "Me & Phil" show the wanderlusting, mischievous side isn't that far removed from a perhaps domesticated general lifestyle. This is a marvelous recording, entertaining and satisfying from start to finish, proving that old dogs and new tricks are not necessarily polar opposites. Hunter's fans — whose opportunities to hear him on recordings have been few and far between — should enjoy this with no reservations. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 1931 in Louisiana

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

For much too long, the legend of Long John Hunter was largely a local one, limited to the bordertown region between El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico. That's where the guitarist reigned for 13 years (beginning in 1957) at Juarez's infamous Lobby Bar. Its riotous, often brawling clientele included locals, cowboys, soldiers from nearby Fort Bliss, frat boys, and every sort of troublemaking tourist in between. Hunter kept 'em all entertained with his outrageous showmanship and slashing guitar riffs....
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Looking for a Party, Long John Hunter
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